by Jill Officer
REGINA – Too bad the 3-4 game wasn’t much of a match. Poor Swedish skip Niklas Edin struggled with the ice which has become straighter during the playoffs.
They still managed to have a bit of fun in the eighth and final end. Third Sebastian Kraupp showed off his crazy good balance and delivered his two rocks in a one-legged squat of sorts (see photo at left). The crowd loved it! Then Edin tried to duplicate Team Canada’s Jeff Stoughton with a flat-foot spin-o-rama… and while it wasn’t as sharp as Stoughton’s, it was still awesome to watch.
And so it was Norway versus Scotland in the semifinal. Norway was gaining speed and confidence – 7-0 and throwing some 86 per cent as a team after a poor start to the competition – and Scotland is coming off a loss to Canada.
I noticed that Scottish Skip Tom Brewster is in the building well in advance of his games. I’m not sure if he’s done this all week, but before the 1-2 page playoff game and again before last night’s semi, he was in the building a couple of hours before game time. So what does he do? Basically, I’ve seen him wandering the halls in the bowels of the building, both inside the arena and on the concourse amongst the crowds. Interesting. I guess everyone has his or her own pre-game routine!
Did you know that Tom Brewster’s wife is Canadian? Yes, Kim Brewster was born in Edmonton and Tom simply wooed her to go to Scotland for him. And she was an original curling Calendar Girl, too!
Not only that, but her brother is Sean Morris, the husband of 2010 Olympic Silver Medallist Cori Morris, who played with Cheryl Bernard in Vancouver. Sean and Cori arrived in Regina yesterday to cheer on their brother-in-law.
So my week on the media bench is coming to an end, and I thought I’d share some reflections on how exhausting it is to be on the bench verses the exhaustion you feel when you actually play in an event such as the worlds.
Viewing the games from the tribune is great. You have front row seats; the internet is comfortably at your fingertips and you can still watch live and hear the TSN broadcast – so you get the benefits of live curling and broadcast TV. Sure, there is some writing and interviewing to do here and there, but it’s a good gig. How can you complain with all that… and all you can eat Tim Horton’s donuts.
However, for some reason, it is almost MORE exhausting than playing in an event like this! On Wednesday night, when Canada had the night off, I took the night off, too. By 8:00pm, I could hardly keep my eyes open!
Being up here is mentally exhausting. Perhaps it’s the lack of exercise to provide you with some energy; perhaps it’s the lack of pressure to perform. All I know is that it is very tiring. Competing in an event is very tiring as well, but when you’re out on the ice, you have to be energized, focused and ready to go and there is much less opportunity to zone out.
Team Scotland was much more zoned in during the semi-final against Norway than they were against Canada last night. Zoned in enough that they will again face Canada in tonight’s gold medal Game. What an accomplishment for Brewster and his young lads, because the Norwegians had simply been on fire.
Mr. Stoughton, by the way, has an interesting history with Scotland. He defeated a Scottish team in the final of the 1996 worlds, then lost to them in 1999, in that famous match against Hammy “Let’s Get Pumped” MacMillan (be sure to view starting at around at 1:10).
It could be a dandy today!
Crazy Kraupp photo by Anil Mungal, copyright The Curling News®
Kim Brewster photo by Ana Arce
Let’s Get Pumped Again photo by Michael Burns / CCA